Have I mentioned I have a balcony garden? Last summer, I started with a few herbs and this year we expanded a bit more. I learned from certain mistakes, added a few more herbs and even tried my hand at actual food such as tomatoes, bell peppers, and jalapeños. So far so good, but good Lord do I have an over abundance of basil.
I can only have so much caprese salad, or Italian dishes so I started experimenting with drinks. Lemonade is my go to summer drink, and I don’t mean the bottled kind. There is no comparison to homemade lemonade. You control the sugar and even how tart you want it.
I made this last summer for the hubs and I, and the flavors were quite surprising. Although I knew what basil tasted and smelled like, this was just a new experience (it’s the foodie in me). Top it off with a little fizz and you got summer in a glass! It was absolutely delicious and a drink you can definitely serve at a barbecue, a brunch or even as a cocktail for two in the evening…vodka, anyone?
Simple syrups are incredibly easy and if you have any leftover, you can place it in a jar in the fridge, it will last for about a week.
Make this before summer ends, you won’t be sorry!
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup of basil leaves
- 3/4 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cups of club soda
- 7 cups of water
- Basil and Lemon slices for garnish
- In a small saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil until the sugar is completely dissolved. Take it off the heat and place the basil leaves in the sugar water, making sure it's submerged. Let it sit for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, take out the basil leaves and let it cool completely.
- In a large pitcher, combine the 7 cups of water and 1 cup of lemon juice. After the simple syrup has cooled completely, add it to the lemon juice mixture. Taste as you go for preference of sweetness.
- Serve the lemonade individually and then top each glass with some club soda.
- This drink can also be adjusted with some vodka.
Homemade lemonade is actually not yellow people…this is the real deal!
And I insist on adding the vodka…for the adults of course.